7.0/10
29,647
222 user 163 critic

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Unrated | | Biography, Crime, Drama | 7 September 1990 (USA)
Trailer
1:47 | Trailer
Henry, a drifter, commits a series of brutal murders, supposedly operating with impunity.

Director:

John McNaughton
9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Demas ... Dead Woman / Dead Prostitute / Hooker #1
Michael Rooker ... Henry
Anne Bartoletti Anne Bartoletti ... Waitress
Elizabeth Kaden Elizabeth Kaden ... Dead Couple - Wife
Ted Kaden Ted Kaden ... Dead Couple - Husband
Denise Sullivan Denise Sullivan ... Floating Woman
Anita Ores Anita Ores ... Mall Shopper #1
Megan Ores Megan Ores ... Mall Shopper #2
Cheri Jones Cheri Jones ... Mall Shopper #3
Monica Anne O'Malley Monica Anne O'Malley ... Mall Victim
Bruce Quist Bruce Quist ... Husband
Erzsebet Sziky Erzsebet Sziky ... Hitchiker
Tracy Arnold ... Becky
Tom Towles ... Otis
David Katz David Katz ... Henry's Boss
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Storyline

Loosely based on serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, the film follows Henry and his roommate Otis who Henry introduces to murdering randomly selected people. The killing spree depicted in the film starts after Otis' sister Becky comes to stay with them. The people they kill are strangers and in one particularly gruesome attack, kill all three members of a family during a home invasion. Henry lacks compassion in everything he does and isn't the kind to leave behind witnesses - of any kind. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The shocking true story of Henry Lee Lucas. See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer See more »

Filming Locations:

Northbrook, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$111,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$609,939

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$609,939
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Maljack Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited for TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The music for the film was mixed in a recording studio in Chicago run by rock n' roll Christians. According to John McNaughton, they were quite shocked when they saw the film. See more »

Goofs

In the opening shot of the movie of a woman's body, the "dead" woman (Mary Demas) takes a few breaths towards the end of the shot, as seen by the movement of her stomach. The filmmakers point this out in the commentary, and show additional footage in the outtakes. See more »

Quotes

Henry: It's always the same and it's always different.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the film begins the following can be read: "This film is a fictional dramatization of certain events. 'Henry' is not intended to be an accurate portrayal of a true story. The film is based partly on confessions of a person named Henry, many of which he later recanted. As to Otis and Betty, the film is fictional." See more »

Alternate Versions

The film has had a long and complex relationship with the BBFC. In 1990, distributor Electric Pictures submitted it for classification with 38 seconds already removed (the pan across the hotel room and into the bathroom, revealing the semi-naked woman on the toilet with a broken bottle stuck in her mouth). Electric Pictures had performed this edit themselves without the approval of director John McNaughton because they feared it was such an extreme image so early in the film, it would turn the board against them. The film was classified 18 for theatrical release in April 1991, but only if 24 seconds were cut from the family massacre scene (primarily involving the shots where Otis gropes the mother's breasts both prior to killing her and after she is dead). Total time cut from the film: 62 seconds. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Half in the Bag: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Too Old for These Blues
Written by T.K. Thady
Performed by Kid Tater and The Cheaters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
What A Sick (But Fascinating) Film!
4 October 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This low-budget film gets high marks because it's entertaining, despite the perversity of the subject matter. It's only 83 minutes long and it moves very fast. Some will be turned off big-time with the shocking brutality of this film, but that's what it is about - a cold-blooded killer (Michael Rooker, playing real-life killer Henry Lee Lucas) with seemingly no conscience, and a stupid partner (Tom Towles as "Otis Toole"), who is about as bad.

"Chilling" is a good word to describe these guys.

The only part of the movie which was repugnant to me was the scene in with Rooker and Towles break into a house, terrorize a woman and videotape it. Other than that, this is fun to watch in a sick way. This, and the French movie, "Man Bites Dog," are the two movies in my collection I am embarrassed (morally speaking) to say I own and find fascinating to watch.

There are only three main actors in this film: Rooker, Towles (playing fellow killer, Otis Toole, a real dumb-ass trashy character) and his kid sister, "Becky" (Tracy Arnold). All three are extremely interesting.

The rest of the people are all victims of those two guys who go on a killing spree that is almost a daily occurrence for a short time. It's absurd, but that's the story. It caused quite a star when it was released. It was given a rare NC-17 rating. Nowadays, it would be "R" with no fanfare.

This is a very sick story, but it sure is interesting.


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